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Butterbeer Yogurt Parfait

A Harry Potter-inspired dessert that won't undo your budget or your diet

By Morgan Rhianna BlandPublished 2 years ago 5 min read
Butterbeer Yogurt Parfait
Photo by Finn on Unsplash


When we hear the phrase summer foods, we often think of melty s’mores enjoyed around a campfire, savory burgers and hot dogs cooked on a backyard grill, or refreshing ice cream purchased from a colorful truck.

Like most people living in America, I have similar memories. Memories of block party barbecues on the Fourth of July, of going to the store with my dad and begging him to buy the ice cream with the Disney characters on the cups, of the neighborhood moms offering those cheap freezer pops to the kids playing outside in the hot sun, of asking my parents for change the moment I heard the ice cream truck blasting “Turkey in the Straw”. But for me, summer also meant something else, something that sets my summer memories apart from the crowd. For me, summer meant Harry Potter.

From the time my fifth grade teacher read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone aloud to the class in 1999 to the summer after I graduated high school when the final book was released, I was a fixture at every Harry Potter-related function my hometown had to offer. Every midnight book release, every movie release date, even some parties that didn’t coincide with a Potter release, I was there. And every one of those parties offered a menu of crazy concoctions inspired by the foods of the Harry Potter books.


July 8, 2000, the day Goblet of Fire was released, I was on vacation with my dad. He called several bookstores in the area in search of Harry Potter events until he found one at a nearby Waldenbooks. When we got there, there was a kid in a purple wizard’s hat handing out bags of “Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans”. They were just grocery store brand jelly beans with only orange, lemon, and lime flavors, but it was an A for effort, I suppose.

In the three year gap between Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix’s releases, the Potter fandom exploded. The first two movies came out, and suddenly Harry Potter was everywhere! You could hardly walk into a store without bumping into a display of Potter merchandise, be it books, toys, clothing, school supplies, or the earliest incarnations of officially licensed candies. Local bookstores, seemingly having decided that we’d gone too long without a Potter party, cashed in on the craze by hosting Harry Potter-themed events in the summers of 2001 and 2002. One such event served a Harry Potter cake purchased from a grocery store in the same shopping center as the bookstore. Another offered a candy buffet with treats both officially licensed and homemade,

When Order of the Phoenix came out in June 2003, I attended a midnight release party at a local Borders bookstore. The store employees held a “Potions lesson” which consisted of mixing punch in a cauldron. For the releases of Half-blood Prince and Deathly Hallows, the parties were at a Barnes & Noble store. Being at the same store only two years apart, the refreshment offerings didn’t change much. Both times, the café offered a selection of drinks inspired by potions from the books and candy as prizes for the various games happening.

When Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was released in the summer of 2016, a full nine years after the final book in the series, the bookstores pulled out all the stops to celebrate! For the month leading up to the release, the stores held Harry Potter events, complete with potion-inspired drink menus and an array of cookies, cupcakes, and rice krispie treats decorated to look like objects from the Harry Potter series. One event held a trivia contest, in which I helped lead the Gryffindor team to victory, and each member of the winning team got a chocolate frog as a prize.


In the 22 years I’ve been attending Harry Potter functions, there’s one thing that nearly all of them have had in common: some version of Butterbeer. From the earliest versions that were little more than cream soda or ginger ale with butterscotch syrup added to the more sophisticated frappe-like concoctions to alcoholic variations served in local bars, I’ve had more variations of the buttery beverage than I can count.

Recently I discovered a new twist on the old Potter-inspired favorite. It all started when I was looking for a new dessert. For the past several months, I’d been sticking to fruit and Greek yogurt. I’d done just about every variation there is of fruit and yogurt parfaits, and I was getting sick of them! I needed something new. More importantly, I needed something that wouldn’t undo my budget or my diet, something that didn’t require expensive specialized equipment to make, and something that wouldn’t heat up my house in the unbearably hot summer months.

After some brainstorming, I came up with an idea that embraced my Potterhead roots, a Butterbeer-inspired yogurt parfait. It took some trial and error, but I eventually came up with a recipe using inexpensive low calorie, low sugar ingredients:

Butterbeer Yogurt Parfait Recipe

A cool treat for a hot summer day, this recipe is quick, simple, and inexpensive to prepare. It requires no heating or special equipment, making it perfect for kids to make on their own or as a family project.

Ingredients (makes single serving)

1 32 oz tub plain or vanilla light Greek yogurt

½ package sugar-free butterscotch pudding mix

2 sugar-free vanilla wafer cookies, crumbled

1 tbsp. sugar-free caramel syrup

1 tbsp. butterscotch chips

1 tbsp. light whipped topping


1 parfait glass, ramekin, or bowl

¼ cup measuring cup

1 tbsp. measuring spoon

Spatula or long wooden spoon

Dessert spoon

Ziploc bag (optional)

Rolling pin (optional)


1. Add ½ package sugar-free butterscotch pudding mix to 32 oz tub Greek yogurt. Stir with spatula or wooden spoon until fully blended.

2. Crumble 2 sugar-free vanilla wafer cookies. You can use your hands or a Ziploc bag and rolling pin to do this. Place cookie crumbles in parfait glass, ramekin, or bowl.

3. Add ¾ cup of the yogurt/pudding mixture to parfait glass, ramekin, or bowl on top of the cookie layer. Place the lid on the yogurt tub and return the remaining mixture to the fridge.

4. Spoon 1 tbsp. sugar-free caramel syrup on top of yogurt layer.

5. Spoon 1 tbsp. butterscotch chips on top of the syrup layer.

6. Top with 1 tbsp. light whipped topping.

7. Serve with a dessert spoon and enjoy!

Notes & Nutrition:

* If you’re not counting calories, you can use the regular versions of all light and/or sugar-free ingredients.

* In a pinch, you can substitute vanilla pudding mix for butterscotch, but keep in mind that this will tone down the buttery flavor.

* Nutritional info will vary slightly according to which brands of ingredients you use. The version I prepared came to 290 calories, 13 g fat, 18 g sugar per serving.


About the Creator

Morgan Rhianna Bland

I'm an aroace brain AVM survivor from Tennessee. My illness left me unable to live a normal life with a normal job, so I write stories to earn money.

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